Good Morning, Brothers and Sister!
Today we will remember God’s past faithfulness as a reminder that God is still faithful to us and always will be!
We have considered several names of God already, and today we are going to consider another one, Jehovah-Rapha, ‘the Lord Who Heals’ or ‘God our Healer’. We find this wonderful name of God only once in the Bible, in Exodus 15:22-27 (ESV)
22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.
In this passage we get a glimpse into the life of the typical christian. The children of Israel faced a God-arranged problem, the only water they could find was too bitter to drink. They could either have brought their problem to God and asked God to help them, or they could grumble and complain. Like most of God’s people throughout the ages, they allowed their fears to dictate their actions rather than their faith in the Lord, and they complained.
But God was patient with them. Instead of growing angry with the unbelieving and complaining spirit of the Israelites, God showed them grace. He was faithful to them even when they were unfaithful, a theme we see throughout the Bible. So God instructed Moses in how to make the water sweet. Moses was obedient, and through this God was glorified, for the people could see that it was God who gave the directions, and God who healed the water.
God was Israel’s healer in two ways. First, God healed their need for sweet water, he protected their lives. And this is very important. God is not only our healer, he is also our provider. Jesus taught us this when he pointed out in Matthew 6 that God clothes the grass and feeds the bird, and we are more valuable to God than either the grass or the birds! Yes, God was Israel’s provider, He healed the bitter waters.
But God also offered healing to the hearts of the Israelites. He could have condemned them for their grumbling and complaining. He could have rebuked them for their unbelief. And there are times when God’s love towards us comes in rebuke and discipline. But ofter God demonstrates his grace with patient instruction. Such is the case in this passage. God showed the Israelites that he loved them, cared for them, and had not abandoned them. He healed the water. And then he gave them instruction: a statue and a rule. In verse 26 we read, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”
God told the Israelites that He rules over the diseases which plague humanity. He had plagued the Egyptians for disobeying his command through Moses to let God’s people go. But here he offers healing to the Israelites, physical healing, protection from His discipline, if they will but follow his commands.
So God was gracious to provide for the Israelites when they complained. And God was gracious to instruct them in the way of holiness and obedience. For if they would follow him, he would be their healer.
Beloved, we often doubt, we grumble and we complain. I am guilt of my fair share of complaining. Thank God he is our healer! When we admit our need for forgiveness, admit that underneath our complaints are hearts of doubt and fear, then God delights to heal us. He delights to sooth our fears. He delights to give us more faith. He delights to show us daily His faithfulness. Consider the fact that the sun has come up every day since the foundation of the world. Consider the fact that God has provided food for you every day of your life, and air for every breath! God is faithful! And he is Jehovah-Rapha, God our healer!
Let us pray…